Pokemon J&K: A Cold Embrace
#1
Alisa... Alisa are you sure about this?

Of course, I am.

But- but we've been lost for hours! A- and..

And what?

And I'm scared!!

Affirmative. You look terrified.

That wasn't meant to inform you!

Then what was the purpose of telling me that you're scared?

Well, I mean, it was meant to inform you but I expected you to say something like 'Don't worry, we'll get out of here soon!' or 'I'll protect you!'

Neither of those statements are true.

Well you can be a little more discreet about that, you know!

I'm sorry. Our trainer hasn't abandoned us and we're not going to die. Now come and help me with this door, Take Down can only do so much.

What do you want me to do?! I'm a psychic-type!

Why don't you try Stored Power?

W- what? What's that?

Just release all the energy stored within yourself.

How?

You're the psychic-type, you tell me.

Okay, I'll try it but.. just.. don't laugh, okay?

Why would I laugh?

Bec- n- nevermind!

I'm waiting.

I- I can't do it while you're watching! Stand over there, facing the wall! And don't you dare look!

Roger.

Ehe.. here goes.. It's coming.. I'm going to do it!! I'm releasing the energy!!!

Pokemon J&K
A Cold Embrace
Chapter One: Why am I here?

If you never knew you could, then would
you fight? For the right to be the best!
If you ever tried to see, if you ever tried to hear,
you'd know, the battle never ends!
We're fighting, day by day!
We're losing, we've lost our way!
But noooooooow!!
If you never knew you could, then would
you fight? For the right to be the best!
If you ever tried to see, if you ever tried to hear,
you'd know, the battle never ends!
So, Wake Up! Let's Go!! Come On!!!

Pokemon J&K is brought to you by me. Go me.

... Why are you hitting the door?

I SAID DON'T LOOK!!!

But wh-

DON'T LOOK!!!

Roger, facing the wall. 

Ahem, now where was I? Ooh! I can feel it!! This one's a big one!!! All of the energy is about to be released!!!!! BOOOM!! BOOM! BOOM!! BOOM!!! 

Why are you yelling?

I'm not!! That's the sound of the power being released!!

It sounds like you're yelling.

Th- that's because the power is being released from my screams!!

I see! So you're using Disarming Voice, then!

What? No! I'm using Stored Power, like you asked!

Ah, I get it! You've found a way to combine the energy! Well done, I would have never expected such creativity from you!

Um.. right! Thanks!

So, how close are you to breaking the door?

Uh..

With that amount of damage, it should break down in no time, correct?

Well, actually.. now that I think about it.. the door doesn't look like it's taken any damage at all.

What?! How?!

I- I don't know! I think... maybe it's cursed!

Don't be silly. Here, let me see.

No! I think.. I think it’s too late for me! Don’t turn around, I don’t want you to see me like this!

What are you..

Agh! The curse has taken over my body! I can’t fight it any longer!! This is it… it’s been fun…

Yssi? No! Don’t di- you’re fine aren’t you?

H- huh? Oh.. yeah! It looks that way!

… You’ve been banging on the door the entire time, haven’t you?

Um..

Move out of the way.

Right.

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Come. ON!

Look, why don’t we just go back? Or maybe I could Tele-

Port us right into another locked room? No. Never again.

I didn’t know!

You never do. That’s why I didn’t want to in the first place; It was foolish of me to submit.

I’m sorry… It’s just, I mean, why is there a locked room in the middle of the forest! It makes no sense!

Do I look like a human to you?

No?

Do you look like a human to you?

Kind of…

'Kind of' does not grant you understanding behind the concept of building a locked room in the middle of a forest. Humans build, they do it everywhere. Instead of questioning it, why don’t you uff Help! Uff! ME! UFF!! WITH!!! AAAAAARGH!!! THIS!!!! STUPID!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!! DOOOOOOOOOOOR!!!!!!!! Agh! WHO BUILDS A LOCKED ROOM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FOREST?!

Didn’t you just say..

QUIET!! I’VE HAD IT WITH YOU! I’VE HAD IT WITH THIS DOOR!! AND I’VE HAD IT WITH OUR STUPID, WORTHLESS, PATHETIC, SPINELESS-

Alisa! I think we should-

I SAID QUIET, LET ME RANT IN PEACE!!

But!

DO YOU NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF QUIE- ...





Is that a..

Pokemon?

It.. it doesn’t look like one..

It doesn’t look like anything at all.

W- what is it?!

I don’t know.

How do you not know?! Aren’t you an expert on everything?!

Which is why when I say 'I don’t know', you should be extra worried.

Wait! Do you think it’s a legendary?

Of course not, I’ve memorized all of them!

W- what about those new Ultra Beasts?

Memorized those too.

What do you think are the chances it just wants a hug?

Sure, Hug, a dark type move that steals your soul.

WHAT?!

I’m joking.

He. Hehehehehe.

It’s laughing!

It doesn't sound like it's laughing..

Hey… Let’s Snuggle… Forever...

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#2
Chapter Two: Oh, that's why.

Yssi.

Y- yeah?

When I give the signal, I want you to teleport us out of here.

Right!

Ehe. Ehehehehe.

Take this! TAKE DOWN!!
 
Ehehehehehehe!

Now!

Gotcha!

Ehehehehehehe!

Oh no! It latched on! 

Hit it with something!

Too late, I'm already teleporting!!

No, stop! We ca-

Woaaaaaaaah!!

Ehehehehehehehe! Let's Play Rough!!

No! Get away from her, you creep!

Alisa, help!! Get it off me!!

I'm trying!

Well try something else!!

I can't!

What do you mean?!

I only know how to use Take Down!

Ah! Ah!! It hurts!! Help!!

Well, why don't you help yourself? Your moves can actually harm it, unlike mine!

R- right! Take.. this!

Woaaaaaaaaah!!

Why did you teleport us again?!

I- I don't know!

EEEK!! SUNLIGHT!!!

Huh?

EEEK!!!!!

It's running away!

Let's chase after it!

W.. why?

Because... oh, right.

Come on, let's find a way out of this mess before it comes back.

Right!

Where are we anyway? You couldn't have sent us that far... I see an old building in between those trees, so that's probably where we came from.

Which means we're going that way!

W... why?

We need to find our trainer!

NO! Not 'our' trainer! Not mine, not yours not anyone's!

Look, I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding! There's no way we were abandoned! Look at us! I'm adorable! And you're... you!

I will register that as an insult.

It was a compliment!

Accepted. I will register that as a compliment.

See? With how.. 'you' you are and with how adorable I am, there's no way we would be left behind! 

Hmm... fine. I won't admit that you're right but if our trainer really wants to get rid of us then at the very least I want us to part ways face to face!

That's the spirit! Let's go find our trainer!

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So now that I think about it.. even though we ended up at the house, we could have started from anywhere...

I know, that's why we're not going to wander aimlessly around like you expected. I'm going to climb the house and see if I recognize where we came from originally.

Oh, that's a much better plan than.. hey! I wasn't expecting us to wander around!

What was your plan then?

I'm not telling you, now that you're being rude!

Affirmative. Registering Yssi's secret plan as 'something I'll definitely be rude to.'.

Grrr!

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So, what do you see up there?

...

Alisa?

....

ALISA?

.....

Um...

Yssi.

Huh? Yeah?

Do you remember what a Pikachu looks like?

Of course I do! They're part of the Kawaii Club, just like me!

We need to leave. We need to leave right now.

What?

Don't teleport us, I just need you to be very quiet and very quick.

Have you found where we came from?

Stop asking so many questions! We need to move, now!

A- alright!

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I think it's still following us.

What is?

The Pikachu.

So what? It's just a Pikachu!

No! It's not!

Then what is it?

I don't know! This forest is strange! All I know is that we need to get out of here as soon as possible!

Well what if-

No Teleporting!

No, that's not what I was going to suggest! I think we can confuse it if I use Double Team and make our clones run in random directions!

That.. might work. Good thinking.

Alright! Double Team! Done! How is it?

I- it's still chasing us!

What? How can it tell??

I'm not sure but it means that trickery won't work on it. We'll need something more practical.

Like?

Attack it.

Okay!

...

Wait ME?!

You saw it earlier; my Take Down doesn't faze it at all!

But... but I..

Look, you can do it. You just need to try hard enough, and if the worst comes to pass then you'll serve as excellent bait for my own escape.

Thanks...

Just forget about Stored Power or even Disarming Voice, try something that you can do!

Something I can do... something I can do... M- MAGICAAAAAAAAL LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAF!!!!

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What... did you do...

I- I don't know! I just did what I could and tapped into my power, like you said!

That is true, I did say that but this... this is too much... 

Do you think it's still after us?

Not unless it can get past all those leaves...

Yeah, I kind of over did it, huh?

Over did it? You took all the leaves in the entire forest!

Heh heh.. sorry trees! Sorry everyone who lives here!

Now that we've properly blockaded ourselves in a fortress of leaves, I think we can spend some time to get our bearings.

No...

Hey, I know you're scared but we have plenty of time to figure out where we are.

No... no way...

Huh?

No way... HOW?! HOW IS IT STILL ALIVE!???
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#3
Chapter Three: Can I leave now?
Alisa...

RUN!! JUST RUN!!!

But look, something's off...

EVERYTHING IS OFF, JUST RUN!!!

Ehh... Ehehehe..?

Where are we running to?

DOESN'T MATTER, WE JUST NEED TO GET AWAY FROM IT!!

I've never seen you like this before..

BECAUSE I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT BEFORE!!! THAT THING IS DEFINITELY DANGEROUS!!!

Well what are we going to do? We can't stop it and we can't outrun it forever! Look, I know you don't like it but-

DO IT!! I DON'T CARE!!

W- what?

TELEPORT US!! NOW!!!

If you say so! Teleport!!

Waaaaaaaaaah!!!

Ow...
[url=https://forum.pokemonurpg.com/editpost.php?pid=129683#][/url]
Where are we?

I don't know but I landed on something really.. oh it's you.

No time for jokes, we need to get going. Now.

What? Why? We're already far away from whatever it is!

Not far enough.

Well, I can teleport us again..

No. We can't afford to be sent back there accidentally.

Well.. which way should we go? What if we head in the wrong direction and run right into it??

That's why we'll make use of Future Sight.

I thought you could only use Take Down!

Future Sight is a psychic-type move.

When did you learn that?!

...

...

...

Oh.. you meant me again.

Affirmative.

But..

I know you probably don't know how to use it, that's why I brought... this!

Is that... a vine?

Exactly.

You're not hoping that I'll learn Vine Whip too, are- hey, what are you doing? Stop spinning me, I'm getting dizzzzzyyyyyy!!!

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So, how is it going?

...

Yssi, answer me.

I hate you.

An acceptable outcome.

I hate you so much...

I have already registered that.

WHY DID YOU TIE ME ON TO YOU?!

This is the only way that we could continue your training whilst on the run.

But! But! But!!

What?

IT'S EMBARRASSING!!!!

Another acceptable outcome.

Ughh... let me off.. please!

Not until you-

Figure out how to use Future Sight! Yeah, yeah, I heard you the first time!

You need to hurry.

I know.

I mean it! It's close... I can tell..

How?

The Tailow, they've begun to take flight. Something's coming and they can sense it. Judging by the direction they're flying to.. oh no. It's right ahead of us!

I'll teleport!!

No! Focus on Future Sight!

But-

We can't keep teleporting away; it can chase us forever! The only way out of this is to get an early lead by figuring out which direction it's coming from before it even gets close to us! Only then can we hope to outrun it!

Alright, but how-

Just leave everything to me! Drop all unnecessary thoughts and just focus! We can't give up, not now!!

... if you say so. Promise me one thing.

What?

Don't die.

...

"There there.. Look, I know you want to work hard for me and win every battle but don't forget the most important rule..."

Don't worry. I won't.

So, Wake Up, Let's Go, Come On! We're going out on an adventure!!

Ah! Huff huff! You're pretty good, aren't you?

Ehehehe? Ehehehe!

I know you wanna be: excited; delighted!

Hah! Taaaaake this!

Ehehehe! Hehehehehe! Feint Attack...

Wake up! Let's go! Come on! 

You might be fast but can you climb as fast as me?!

Ehe? Eheheh! Shadow Sneak...

There's a whole world for you...

Ehehehehe... Shadow... CLLLAW!!!!

AAAAACK!!!

A whole world for me...

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Let's unravel the mystery...

"Got it? The most important rule is that you always come back, safe and sound! Always come back to me... Alisa."

I thought you were my friend... I thought we were going to conquer the Championship together.. was I wrong? Tell me.. tell me that I wasn't.. please.. somebody...

We have the worst trainer in the world. The most idiotic, irresponsible, lazy trainer in the world!! But don't you dare think for a moment that we were abandoned!!! You hear me, Alisa?! You want me to focus, well how can I focus while you're getting pummeled all over the place?!! You were the one who told me not to give up so why are you the one giving up?! If that worthless trainer won't come find us then- Future Sight!!!

What.. what's the point of using that now?

TELEPORT!!!

W- waaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!!!

"Sorry.. I made you wait, didn't I? There, there. It's all over now. Everything will be okay.. I'm here, by your side..."

When you're here..
Next to me..
I can't believe..
We're side by side.
All the fear..
In the world..
Can't beat me..
I feel so alive!
And when we fight it's almost if
You're fighting with me!
Our fates are entwined!
Oh, when you're here..
When you're here..
Next..
To..
Me...

"Will they be okay?!"
"Don't worry, my Chansey and I will take good care of them..."

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Fin
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#4
Claimed for an in-depth grade on this Mimikyu capture, by request!
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#5
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#6
Hi, Ciele! Wanted to thank you for submitting this--you did great work on this! This first bit will be the concise part of your in-depth grade, and the long form part will be coming very soon once I clean it up a bit!

pokeball Things you did great on: pokeball
  • Unique narrative style. This almost screenplay-esque type of writing was a refreshing way to flex some different brain muscles while reading. You executed it in a way that lets us figure out the events of the story through these conversations.
  • Dialogue quirks and realism. You captured the erratic flow that sometimes accompanies natural conversation through a vibrant mixture of punctuation, phrasing, and word choice. Since this is a story told through dialogue, these traits help keep it lively.
  • Characterization. The personalities of each of the characters comes out great in their dialogue and manner of expression—I can feel Yssi’s exuberance and Alisa’s calm throughout, which helped me figure out which character was speaking where it became difficult to discern at times.
    Grammar! Sometimes these more exuberantly-punctuated stories run into grammar issues or typos, but you avoided these really well.

One of my favorite moments was near the end, with Alisa remembering her Trainer’s words. I loved the way it was peppered throughout the ending a little there, building up to the message that she was dwelling on in a way that was quite powerful!

pokeball Things you could improve on: pokeball
  • Clarifying speakers through formatting. Things were easier to sort out on who was speaking after a reread, but it became quite confusing to keep track of while reading, especially when Mimikyu’s voice came in. Color-coding (in dark-shaded or similarly eye-friendly colors) or another type of formatting would help ensure a reader doesn’t get lost in the back-and-forth without labels. The punctuation marks on the Trainer’s dialogue was also a great identifier, but since it wasn’t established early on to be, I was confused when I first saw it, and had no idea who was considered to be speaking there. Defining in some way that the quotation marks designate the Trainer’s words early on (perhaps another flashback to what the Trainer has said before, or quoting the Trainer’s words in their dialogue) will make your ending use of the dialogue more impactful, since the reader won’t be confused.
  • Over-use of punctuation. I love the way you characterized the different dialogue using punctuation, but there were times when it bordered on over-use, and where the lines blurred on when extra punctuation was intentional. Tonally, what is the difference between Yssi’s yelling using two, three, or four exclamation points? Try to be particular about when you use the punctuational devices you’ve set up for these characters. There were times when Yssi’s enthusiasm was lost on me—it became one of those “if everything is emphasized, nothing is emphasized” scenarios for me down the line.
    Plot details. While you did great with this style, there were a few mishaps. The conclusion is the biggest spot I missed out on plot details on—they Teleport, and land…. presumably by the Trainer they were looking for the whole time, who… takes them to a Pokemon Center? That’s what it seems like, but I can’t tell if that was the intention. What happened to the Mimikyu? It was established earlier that it would continue to follow them even if they teleported, so a resolution to how they keep it from following them to the Trainer, or even how the Trainer deals with said Mimikyu, would help. The ending left me just a little bit confused without these details.
  • Character details. I know from the Pokemon that you own that Yssi is a Ralts and Alisa is a Beldum. I think you did a good job trying to clarify that this is what they were throughout (Alisa constantly remarking on Yssi’s type, remarks about Take Down being Alisa’s only move), but I could see an unknowing reader making it through this without any real clue as to their species. A few more clear allusions to their identities through dialogue early on would help introduce the characters and let us form them better in our heads.

pokeball Verdict pokeball
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#7
As I mentioned in the concise, this was a great and refreshing read, both in format and characterization. In this more in-depth critique, I’ll take you step-by-step on what points you will want to improve to hit concise. Some of this information will overlap with what I’ve mentioned in the Concise, but will hopefully expand on those points much more to give you a great idea of what needs to be done!

We'll start by looking at the requirements for Complex: As the name implies, things get difficult here. Improved storyline and description is a must for captures at this level, and the 30-40K [character count] needed can be quite challenging. Stories at this level and above take time and patience, so don’t try to pump something out for this category all at once.

With that in mind, let's look at the best means of improvement to meet these goals!



pokeball Plot/Storyline pokeball
As it stands, this is one of the bits I think you have the largest area for improvement on. Changes you make here will cascade down to the rest of the sections you need to improve, making them easier.

Right now, from what I can follow, the plot is: Yssi and Alisa are lost in the woods. Yssi accidentally Teleports them into an abandoned building in the woods, which is locked. After some comedic struggle, she Teleports them mistakenly back out. A Mimikyu follows and battles them, and Yssi manages to Teleport them back to their Trainer, who takes them to a Pokemon Center (?).

Overall, while effective in this story, this is a fairly simplistic, surface-level plot. While this works at lower ranks, Complex rank requires a little more depth.

Fortunately, I think you’ve established some great points from which to expand the story’s plot on. Here are interesting bits that we don’t have now, but could have to strengthen the plot. You don’t necessarily have to do all of these, but these would be great starting points.
  • The events leading up to them being lost. They seem to be battling with the thought of potential abandonment—what about their separation from their Trainer implies this? Expanding the beginning of the story with the events leading up to what we have now would give us more plot information to build on later. It would also give you a chance to establish the Trainer’s dialogue cue (“”) that I mentioned in the Concise!
  • Setting establishment. This may come hand-in-hand with the above, but is worth noting! Right now, this could be any old forest. To us as a reader, it has no depth, no history, no associations beyond what our characters are currently experiencing. Is there a particular reason why the Mimikyu lurks here? Is it a well-known phenomenon that their Trainer should have known, or is it a strange hiccup of fate that may lead into a greater mystery, or at least hint at it? These are details you could define in a potential prologue. You also don’t have to come up with this stuff on your own—there are a billion and a half canonical forests in the Pokemon world whose lore you could use and build upon.
  • Conclusion clarity. Plot-wise, the ending is a bit confusing, as I mentioned in the Concise. Clarifying this will help tie up your loose plot-ends and give us a definite end, and hopefully, also give us a resolution for Mimikyu, which we are currently missing.



pokeball Characterization pokeball
What do I mean by characterization? I mean the way that you show and create the personalities of the characters in your story. You’ve done a fantastic job of giving your dialogue character for each of the players in the story—that part I think you’ve got down. Now, though, I would focus on expanding the depth of the characters themselves.
  • Mimikyu. Following up on the above bullet, Mimikyu is your target of capture, so you want to be sure to feature it heavily in your capture. Right now, we see it following in the middle and battling at the end, which is a good balance—but we’ll want to be sure to keep that as you expand the story to meet the requirements for Complex. Flesh out why the Mimikyu is here, its wants and desires, etc. It seems lonely, as the poor copying-Pikachu Ghostie canonically is, but you could take a stab at exploring the exact details of its loneliness through its dialogue, or through observations of it, or through lore communicated when you flesh out the history behind the forest!
  • Trainer/Pokemon relationship details. Between the fear of abandonment and the underlying resentment Yssi expresses (“the most idiotic, irresponsible, lazy trainer in the world”), we’re given an implication of a potentially somewhat troubled relationship, or at the very least, one that’s being misunderstood by Yssi. What causes these differences in understanding? What is their relationship like? You could accomplish this by fleshing out the scenario that led up to them getting lost, or through something like flashbacks like you’ve done with the Trainer dialogue already—or both! All will be great tools for you moving forward.
  • Alisa and Yssi backgrounds! You establish, super nicely and slyly, that Yssi is a part of the “Kawaii Club”. Whether this is a metaphorical classification for a cute Pokemon or an actual canonical pedigree, it serves as a great springboard into more character development. The first, metaphorical route gives us a glimpse into a potentially more conceited bit of Yssi’s personality, while the former implies some sort of in-world pedigree for certain species, which is a really interesting idea! How would this change how she reflects on Mimikyu, the Pokemon who desperately mimics Kawaii Club member Pikachu, as a technically “higher-class” Pokemon? You don’t have to go down a super serious route with this—you may be trying to keep this a comedy more than anything else, which is a totally valid route. But this has a ton of possibilities in both a more thoughtful and a more comedic way that I’d love to see you expand on. Establishing the world around these Pokemon will help this story a lot!

Right now, this story reads as a semi-comedic adventure in an unassuming wood. However, you have some fantastic touch-points, as listed above, to expand it into something a little more; maybe a more complex, more multi-layered comedy, or perhaps a more thoughtful tale about abandonment in all of its forms.



pokeball Detail and Description pokeball
One of the requirements for Complex is more advanced description. You’ve got an interesting case here in your chosen writing style, where you’re not describing everything in the usual way, so I want to work with that and find ways for you to give us more detail while keeping your flow! This will help you find ways to implement the suggestions in the category above.

Let’s look at your main storytelling advice: dialogue. What are qualities of good dialogue? I’d say that they’re something along the lines of:
  • Believability in language! Are these things that people would say in real life?
  • Believability in timing! Is the dialogue appropriate for the situation?
  • The speaker! Knowing who is speaking is important with dialogue.
  • Characterization! Is the dialogue believable for the character?

This is the hard part for you: you want to achieve all of these qualities but at the same time, give enough detail to the readers to create a cohesive story. Normal people don’t typically narrate their lives and describe things around them, but you have to describe these things through dialogue and make it feel natural.

This poses a challenge for you that you’ve already risen to wonderfully. Here are great examples where you fulfilled these characteristics:

Quote:Well, I mean, it was meant to inform you but I expected you to say something like 'Don't worry, we'll get out of here soon!' or 'I'll protect you!' Neither of those statements are true.

This was a great example of believability, while also giving us some characterization! It’s believable because these are typical responses one would expect from the situation and their dialogue.

Quote:Where are we anyway? You couldn't have sent us that far... I see an old building in between those trees, so that's probably where we came from.

This was a fantastic way to tell us something about the setting discreetly while also keeping the dialogue believable. It makes sense for them to speak about it since they just teleported and are still getting bearings on their surroundings.

Quote:How do you not know?! Aren’t you an expert on everything?
Which is why when I say 'I don’t know.', you should be extra worried.
Wait! Do you think it’s a legendary?
Of course not, I’ve memorized all of them!
W- what about those new Ultra Beasts?
Memorized those too.

This is great, believable dialogue, while also showing us their individual and varying personalities/interests.

We’ll want to see more of these great examples when you expand this to a Complex capture. My best advice in keeping these future bits believable with your style is to create characters and situations where this dialogue makes sense for the both the situation and the character.

For example, when giving us more background on the Mimikyu, or on the forest—create situations in the plot where it would make sense for that information to be stated in dialogue. In this case, maybe the Trainer is a big think-out-loud type, who talks to their Pokemon as a substitute to most interactions with other people. Before taking their Pokemon into the forest, they muse to themselves and their companions about a rumor they’d heard about a Mimikyu haunting the woods…

This doesn’t have to be what you do, but it’s an example of crafting your plot line in a way that lets you deliver these details naturally.



pokeball Grammar pokeball
As I expressed previously, you did pretty well with grammar. I only caught one thing on a fourth or fifth re-read:

Which is why when I say 'I don’t know.', you should be extra worried.

Situations surrounding apostrophes and/or quotation marks and other punctuation can be a little finicky. Here, the more or less correct way would be: “Which is why when I say ‘I don’t know’, you should be extra worried.” The period inside works when it’s standing alone, but since it’s a more integrated chunk, punctuation inside gets clunky.



pokeball Length and Punctuation pokeball
These two are intertwined because of the way you’ve used punctuation to unintentionally create length and intentionally create characters. In URPG, we decide length by character count, with spaces included in that count. While you’ve brought your story up to about 10,000 characters, give or take, a good chunk is created by the way you’ve used punctuation. Extra exclamation points, drawn-out noise sounds, etc. all contribute to the character count.

Good examples of when to use extra letters are things like using dialogue to emphasize movement or express length:

Quote:Stop spinning me, I'm getting dizzzzzyyyyyy

This was nice because I felt like the “dizzzzyyyyy” communicated the drawn-outness that you experience when you’re being spun around, which is sensible.

One critique on this one in particular is where you placed the emphasis—the extra “z”s imply that the “z” sound is being drawn out. Try to say the word “dizzy” out loud, but stop and draw out the “z”. It’s not very comfortable, is it? I’d move the emphasis to the “i” where it’s more natural. The high “e” sound of the extended “y” is also more comfortable and natural when speaking, so that bit is fine.

Quote:Ehe. Ehehehehe.

This helped communicate one short laugh, followed by a bit longer of a cackle. Good way to give those two bits different sounds and meanings and tones!

I pointed this whole thing out because while the above parts are done well, I think that there are other points where it weakens your story. As I mentioned before, I think there are two major problems posed by the slight over-use:
  • Over-emphasizing everything—if everything is emphasized with two or three exclamation points or with drawn out letters, they lose their special-ness, and start to lose meaning for the reader.
  • Losing clarity in meaning. What’s the difference between Yssi’s two exclamation points, or three, or four? As a reader, I don’t really know; they’re all just varying degrees of… something, that I’m not sure of. Passion? Volume? Is this the only way to accomplish these things? As a reader, do I relate more or less to four exclamation points as opposed to two?

I’d definitely comb through and tighten up where and how often you use this exuberant punctuation. I’m definitely not trying to tell you to remove all of it—I think in most places, like the ones listed above, you use it really, really well to characterize dialogue and create effects you can’t otherwise describe, like environmental sounds and movement! It's crazy unique and awesome! But I would definitely go back and try to make sure that each extra punctuation and character and letter you place has a definitive purpose to it being added. Make sure you have thought behind these additional touches; the reader derives meaning from stuff like this.

URPG recommends at least 30,000 characters for a Complex story. While this is just a suggestion and a guideline, it’s set at this level because it expects that creating a more complex storyline with more complex descriptions will typically happen in 30,000 or more characters. This numerical requirement is a reason why you also want to cut down on excessive punctuation or characters that don’t have a solid meaning; it makes it hard to determine how much content you actually have, and how much of it is meaningless padding through extra, overkill punctuation and fluff.

I’d recommend not worrying too much about the length either way; I think it’ll come naturally as you flesh out your plot and characters as I suggested above, and remember, it’s not a requirement, but just a suggestion!



pokeball Overall pokeball
The style you’ve chosen can be a bit restrictive in some ways, but it makes up for that with being wildly expressive in other ways! To get the required qualities for a Complex story, you’ll need to get creative with the scenarios you create in order to tell the story only through dialogue, and make sure that you’re using the tools of punctuation and letters at your disposal intentionally and carefully. However, by taking this step in the first place, you’ve shown that you are already incredibly creative and plenty capable enough to accomplish this. I believe in you; go forward and let’s get you a Mimikyu!
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